You’re on a timer here, so let’s get straight to the chase: do you need to delete the WhatsApp message you just sent? You have SEVEN MINUTES. Open the message, long press to select, tap the trash can icon at the top of the screen and select ‘Delete for everyone’.
Now breathe, and let’s talk about it. Does that really work? Did anyone see it before you deleted it? Will they know you deleted a message?
WhatsApp no longer makes us go through the pain of awkwardly avoiding people after we accidentally send a message to the wrong person – or even to the right person, but a message that we immediately regretted it.
It is now possible to delete WhatsApp messages even after they have been sent but, as we mentioned above, there is a time limit. After seven minutes have passed, it is not possible to remotely delete WhatsApp messages from someone else’s phone.
Let’s assume that you immediately regret the sent message and thus receive it before they do. Chances are you deleted it before they saw it, but the only way to be sure is to use the ticking system that appears at the end of each message, so hopefully you’ve got it under control before hitting the button. cancel.
If there’s a single gray tick before you hit ‘Delete for everyone’ then you can rest assured: it hasn’t even been sent to their phones. If there are two gray ticks, it was delivered, but not read. Two green ticks? It’s time to leave the country.
Unfortunately, WhatsApp doesn’t have a MIB-style neural cooler: if two blue ticks appear indicating that someone has read your message, trying to delete it from the chat will not remove it from the set. their memory (although it may destroy evidence).
WhatsApp will display a message in the conversation thread confirming that a message has been deleted, but with no clue as to what it said. You have time to think about this, so style it – and if in doubt, a simple ‘Oops! The wrong person is enough.
Are there any situations where this might not work? I’m afraid it is, but not sure if it has happened.
If someone received your message while in an area with a cellular or wireless connection, but then lost the signal or turned off their phone (possibly out of battery), WhatsApp will not be able to reconnect to that phone to delete the message. It will also stop trying to delete that message after 13 hours, 8 minutes, and 6 seconds (oddly accurate), so you have to hope they’ll be back in range or find a charger within a period of time. there.
Another situation could be if they turn off read receipts without your knowledge, leaving you in the dark as to whether they have read your messages or not. This doesn’t mean the message wasn’t deleted, it’s just that you don’t know if they read it or not.
Send them another message and you’ll soon find out – either the explicit read confirmation is off or they’re looking for you.
Can you skip the seven-minute rule?
@AndroidJefe supposedly found a trick to extend the amount of time you can delete a sent WhatsApp message, but warns that it only works if the message is unread.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and mobile data
- Go to Settings, Time and date settings and go back to the time before the message was sent
- Open WhatsApp, find and select the message, tap the trash can icon and select ‘Delete for everyone’
- Turn on Wi-Fi and mobile data and reset the date and time to normal to delete messages on WhatsApp’s servers
There could also be more relief, as WhatsApp is said to be testing a ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature in beta, which allows you to predetermine how long messages will last before they self-destruct, with options from 1 hour to 1 year.
Until then, remember: loose lips sink the ship, and hot heads, um, explode.
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